NIGERIA’S ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is reeling from a severe crisis after the Court of Appeal confirmed the suspension of its chairman Adams Oshiomhole and two different factions are jostling over the party’s leadership.
Yesterday, Nigeria’s appeal court upheld a lower court decision suspending Mr Oshiomhole as party chairman, directing that the police should immediately withdraw all his orderlies. Under the dictates of the party’s constitution, one of its vice chairmen should take over and the APC national working committee subsequently named former Oyo State governor Senator Abiola Ajimobi as acting chairman.
Senator Ajimobi is the party’s deputy chairman southwest and has been appointed to head the APC despite the fact that he is in hospital suffering from coronavirus-related infections. However, Chief Victor Giadom, the party’s deputy national secretary insists that he is the acting national chairman.
Chief Giadom’s lawyer, Wole Afolabi, insisted that a court order of issued on March 16 by Justice Bature that his client acts as the national chairman following the then suspension of Mr Oshiomhole remains valid. He said the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court order renders Senator Ajimobi’s appointment null and void and of no effect.
Chief Afolabi added: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement purportedly issued by the publicity secretary of the APC to the effect that Senator Abiola Ajimobi is to act as the national chairman of the APC following the suspension from office of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Court of Appeal. We wish to state that the statement must have been issued in complete ignorance of the order of the FCT high court issued on 16th of March, 2020 by Hon Justice SU Bature in to the effect that Chief Victor Giadom is to act as the national chairman of the party due to the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole.
“The order was given the same day that the Court of Appeal earlier gave Oshiomhole a temporary respite by staying the execution of the said order suspending Oshiomhole. Now that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the order of suspension, it is only proper that the order recognising Chief Victor Giadom is implemented.
”Consequently, we have written to all law enforcement agencies to implement the said order and anyone who attempts to parade himself/herself other than Chief Victor Giadom as the acting chairman of the APC would be facing contempt of court proceeding.”
Already, Senator Ajimobi has promised to summon a national executive committee (NEC) meeting to resolve all contending issues in the party. He sued for peace among stakeholders and members across the various strata of the party.
Senator Ajimobi took over as the deputy national chairman in March 2020 when the NWC wrote a letter to the southwest geo-political zone asking it to nominate a candidate for the vacant position following the appointment of Otunba Niyi Adebayo as minister. Senator Ajimobi’s appointment received the support of five of the six southwest states of Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ogun and Lagos with Ekiti protesting and his appointment into the NWC was further affirmed by a federal high court.